Internet mocks $3K Balenciaga tote for looking like Ikea's iconic blue bag
The Balenciaga "Arena Extra-Large Shopper Tote Bag" (left) is compared with Ikea's "FRAKTA" bag (right). (Balenciage and Ikea)
Published Wednesday, April 19, 2017 9:05AM EDT
The product description on luxury U.S. retailer Barney’s website says it’s “constructed from blue wrinkled, glazed leather” and includes flat leather handles and a visible gold-stamped logo.
The “Arena Extra-Large Shopper Tote Bag" is a recent addition to French luxury fashion house Balenciaga’s handbag collection and costs a whopping $3,170 (US$2,145).
There is also something awfully familiar about it.
Online sleuths have started drawing comparisons on social media between the designer’s high-end tote and Swedish furniture maker Ikea’s iconic blue “FRAKTA” bag.
You know… the crinkly, foldable, blue, giant tote bag made of polypropylene that costs all of $1 and is used by Ikea shoppers to haul lamps, TVs, dish plates and whatever else they need to carry around the busy store.
The handy recyclable bag became such a staple at the furniture retailer that it’s sold in multiple sizes and receives an almost perfect rating in reviews on Ikea’s website with many users gushing about how often they use the versatile product at home.
Although Balenciaga hasn’t publicly responded to the online comparisons, the similarities between the two products are undeniable.
The blue hue, the length of the straps and the size and shape of the tote bags have all been pointed to in side-by-side comparison photos posted online by Twitter users intent on mocking the designer brand’s extravagant price point.
Who wore it better? Balenciaga or IKEA? pic.twitter.com/LCB9Qri2xN— Mikael Pawlo (@mpawlo) April 18, 2017
Go home Balenciaga, you're drunk.— Leigh Travers (@LeighTravers) April 19, 2017
The IKEA bag is too iconic to imitate pic.twitter.com/BtMTHmHtCM
Of course, there are some differences between the bags.
One is made of “glazed leather” (which means it’s been polished to look shiny), has a gold-stamped Balenciaga logo affixed to it and will set you back more than your monthly rent. The other one is made of recyclable polypropylene plastic, incorporates some yellow detailing on the straps and will cost you less than a cup of coffee or the store’s Swedish meatballs.
Instead of being angered or even annoyed by Balenciaga’s look-a-like bag, Ikea has appeared to welcome the imitation.
“We are deeply flattered that the Balenciaga tote bag resembles the Ikea iconic sustainable blue bag for 99 cents. Nothing beats the versatility of a great big blue bag!” Ikea told the Today show in an emailed statement on Monday.
How’s that for fashion diplomacy?
Now, quick! Go rummage around under your sink for that forgotten Ikea bag. It’s high fashion now.